Thursday, April 5, 2018

Organization? Spring Cleaning for Your Writing

Six inches on April 1st? Really??????
The calendar says it's April 3, but Indiana is a bit confused. This is the scene I woke up to yesterday morning. By four p.m. the six plus inches of snow had melted, but it was a bit shocking to have that much snow on Easter.

Despite the snow, I've been feeling the itch to spring clean. That means I've been tackling a drawer here and a hutch there. I pulled all the out-grown kids clothes from various stashes and separated them for four families. Crazy!

There's something wonderful about the feeling of order coming from chaos. The fact that everything has a place that it belongs. There's also something therapeutic about throwing old things away that truly don't serve a purpose anymore. It's hard to do, but it's good.

What does this have to do with writing?

This is how I want all of my spaces to look. A place for everything.
Great question.

Sometimes our writing needs a spring cleaning. We've hit a point where we just need to go through and cut some words. We've gotten a little flabby with our sentences and need to exercise the delete key.

Maybe there's a character that needs to be punched up. A scene that's unnecessary. A chapter that needs to be enhanced.

We need to take a fresh look at what we've written and critically evaluate it.


Maybe it's time to read an award-winning or much talked about book in your genre. How does that writer craft their story? What can you learn from them?

This is how many of my drawers look: Chaos!
Or it's time to crack open that craft book you purchased years ago and remind yourself how to put tension on every page or create three dimensional characters.

Could it be time to pray over your writing and ask God how you're doing?

Or maybe you need to step way back and take a break from writing. Try another creative endeavor. Give your subconscious a chance to noodle the plot points that are giving you fits.

Whatever you do, take a few minutes or hours to spring clean your writing.

An award-winning author of twenty books, Cara is a lecturer on business and employment law to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Putman also practices law and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana.

1 comment:

kaybee said...

Cara, you are right. We should be constantly evaluating what we do and how it's working, but spring is a better time than most. I'm working on a lot of loose ends in various projects and thinking about streamlining etc. as I spring clean (OKAY, as I finish up my fall cleaning, sheesh). Thinking more clearly with the winter behind me so yeah, this is something I want to do. Thanks, Cara.
Kathy Bailey